Thursday, May 20, 2010


Why do I watch Discovery Health and TLC and all the other channels that air baby programming?  I mean, let's face it. I'm either sad because it hits too close to home -or- pissed off at the way things are portrayed.

For example...  Watched an 8 minute clip about six 25-weekers. The poor mom is bawling because she tried so hard to hold them in and her body just gave out.  Looking at those tiny 1-2 pound babies made my eyes well up.  One baby came home at 3 months old; the last at 5 months old.  Watched some of "Make Room for Multiples". Now, I know, that technically, a 36 week baby is premature.  That being said, 36 weeks for twins is considered full term and damn good!  Lamenting about having a 36 week set of twins is like a slap in the face.  (Again, I know these folks all have their own circumstances and expectations and this wasnt it, since she had a c/s scheduled for the next week and was expecting that, etc.  Just my crazy, it's midnight, rant...)  And then, there are the "I Didnt Know I Was Pregnant" and therefore I smoked, drank, did drugs, etc, and miraculously delivered a full term baby who had no complications, even though s/he was exposed to drugs in utero and had no prenatal care whatsoever moms.


Really???  Really???  What sucky ass lottery did those of us who battled infertility and then loss win?

Okay.  I feel better.  Rant over.


On to something sad.  Remember when I went to my first mom's group? Well, this month's group had a fair amount of sadness.  The mom I referenced lost her baby.  This was her fifth pregnancy and, at 17w, went in for an appointment to find out that her baby had died around 11w.  As she was grieving, I shared about Nicholas, Sophia, and Alexander, and my miscarriages.  And then another woman shared her 24w stillborn son.  And then, another.  All of us had sat around the tables for months.  And yet, no one knew the silent sorrows in our hearts.  And, as we rallied around a new member of this club that none of us wants to be in and, worse yet, wants anyone else to be in, we all were able to see that other mothers hide that same sadness behind their gaze...  That, when they hold their living children, their arms are still slightly empty.  That family portraits are always missing a face or two... or three...  or more.

It made me realize just how much silence we all have.  How loss is something kept close to one's heart.  How, when mothers first bury children, they feel alone.  Because we, the ones who have been there before, are quiet.  It made me wish that I had been more open with the group to start.  The leader knew my history because she knew me from our parish.  And I wrote all the kids names on the info sheet.  And, when asked, I said that Bobby and Maya werent my first children.  But, when we were discussing things, I didnt volunteer information.  It was the first time that I wanted to try to fit in just because I didnt want to have to respond to the "I'm sorry's" or the "It was probably for the best".

And then, when that mom miscarried, I felt sorry that she had to feel alone.  Even if now she knows she isnt.


Reba, of Life Without My Twins, wrote an interesting post.  In it, she writes about an encounter with her dentist, who, knowing her history (she delivered extremely preterm twins who died and later had a little girl who is growing like a weed!), made a statement that things, in pregnancy, always work out as they should.  For those of us for whom pregnancy is not a fun experience, those of us who have had our children die in our arms or are wombs, it is hard to fathom that this is how it is "supposed" to be.  In my world, this is NOT how I pictured my motherhood.  I didnt imagine miscarriages, PTLs, IC and cerclages, bedrest, inversion, drug after drug to try and stop a PTL that was bound and determined to happen, and, ultimately, after a decade of infertility, 3 miscarriages, and 3 infant deaths, to have my best case scenario end up as 27 weekers in the NICU.

But, in a way, he's right.

I cant imagine a world without Bobby and Maya.  Without his smile or her giggle.  His "monkey face" and her drama queen hands.  That world cant exist.  A world where I never have "Mayakisses" or "Bobbyhugs".  Where I dont have him hold my neck like I'm the only person in the world that matters.  Where there is no sweet girl to reach for me when she is scared and hold my hand as she drifts to sleep.

My world is worth everything: the pain, the hurt, everything.  It has to be.  How could it not be as it should be?

God knows, I would have done anything in the world... Anything... To save my miscarried babies... To save Nicholas.  Sophia.  Alexander.  I would have stood on my head for months if it meant a lifetime with them.

And that moment...  That was our lifetime...  I wouldnt trade a lifetime of heartache for that second of bliss when each child was born.  I couldnt.

It's hard to hear.  And, perhaps, if I was still waiting for the "happy ending" as crazy as that sounds to write, I'd think the dentist was a jerk.

But sitting here...  Hearing them sleep on the monitor after holding them in my arms until they fell into a blissful sleep...  I cant picture it any other way.

I got to have them all.  I live in the only world that I could live in.  It did work out.  Even if three of my children were only in my arms for a short time before ascending to a new life.  Even if two of my babies spent weeks in the hospital because 27w5d was all my body could give them.  Even if it breaks my heart every single day.

"A sword will pierce...your...soul..." (Luke 2:35)


Krystal said...

You make me smile! I feel the same way about the MTV show "16 and pregnant", that show makes me so mad...

I love the pictures where the kids are laying all over you, yet you look so comfy with them like that =)

Anonymous said...

Oh Michele what a beautiful, powerful and heartbreaking post. The bible quote is so true. x

MFA Mama said...

So sad...and so true.

That is a beautiful picture of you with the babies--you're radiant with them and they look so very blissful in your arms. Gorgeous "family picture" in this post itself, missing faces and all.

Anonymous said...

you always have such insightful and beautiful things to say. I;m glad that your moms group were able to share with the mom who lost her baby. It has helped me know i'm not alone and that others understand my mood swings and days of sadness, so I knwo talking with all of you will make her feel she has someone who understands.

trennia said...

THat's why I refuse to watch those types of shows it hurts to bad and just makes me mad and upset!

Kelly said...

I was JUST telling my husband 2 nights ago that I get so mad when mom's tell their "scary" stories about babies in the NICU who almost died for 10 seconds...babies who are 6 and huge and normal now. Even though it's really a trial for them and I know they were scared, their babies came home. they never had the moment when doctors give up and shake their head and leave you with the remains. I get so mad! Oh well... SO glad I am not alone in my feelings! he he.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

You have come so far and I am happy to have met you. Reading blogs of baby lost mothers each day this post says it all. To think about the many who are only at the beginning of their journey who pray to be where you are at today. ((HUGS)) Love the picture.

Reba said...

what a really awesome quote that is!

those shows upset me, too. and i too can't help watching them.

i love that picture of you three!

it really is heartbreaking about the other moms in the's sad that it happened and sad how silent we all are in "real" life.

i so love hearing naomi say "mama." absolutely one of my favorite sounds ever. yay bobby!

thanks for my shout out :)

Michelle said...

Beautiful picture Michele!
I have to avoid those shows because they always upset me...and somehow I love watching them.
Thank you for sharing the meant to be post.. it really helps in the darker times.

Anonymous said...

love the photo of you and the beautiful. I really hate the show "16 and pregnant." *hugs*

Lindsay said...

Hi Michele,

I couldn't get your email to work, but I just wanted you to know that your comment did not upset me in any way...not at all...neither did the other person's I referred to...I just wanted people to understand where we're coming from. No all. :) We all do things the way that works for us...nothing wrong with that at all. God bless!

Catherine W said...

I also have to confess to a love-hate relationship with shows about child birth and babies.

I'm sorry to read that one of the mom's in your group lost her baby.

It is a strange silence. Sometimes I wish I could be more open about what happened to my family too.

The end of this post is so beautiful (and that was before I hit the photograph!) that I am lost for a response. I don't know. I can't imagine having two any more. But I'm glad I did for the short time that I had. x

Mother Knows Best Reviews said...

Oh, Michele, this struck home so hard for me. I am just in awe of your way to put my thoughts into words.

Jen said...

Thank you Michele. I needed to read these words today more than ever. Knowing I am not alone in my grief is comforting even though I wish none of us had to go through the losses we have. Yesterday marked the 11th birthday of my sweet Julia. 11 long years since she was born still. 11 long years of having an empty ache in my heart. But, I will continue to put on a psuedo happy face and soldier on because my three children here with me need me to be all the mommy I can be. And for now, that's all I can or want to do. HUGS to you and yours!

MrsSpock said...

When we were still struggling for J, I only told a couple coworkers at the hospital. Both had experienced loss- one had lost twin boys right at the cusp of viability, despite being airlifted to our hospital with its Level III NICU, and the other had had two miscarriages, one of them right at the end of first trimester. When I was open about our IF, four friends shocked me by confiding to me that they too had problems.

It really is a small world.